By QCGN President Dan Lamoureux, The Gazette
Although the English language is flourishing in North America, English-speaking communities are in decline as a percentage of Quebec’s total population. While Quebec’s population has increased by 30 per cent since 1971, the English-speaking component has grown by a mere 6.7 per cent. In view of this decline, what should the government of Quebec do to address the needs and challenges of its English-speaking minority?
There is clear evidence within the health and education sectors that formal advisory bodies, representing English-speaking people, to the government have played an important role in helping shape policy that has improved access to English-language services. No one would argue that government policy and programs in support of aboriginal and multicultural communities are not critical to their development. Similar mechanisms could serve as models for policies and programs for English-speaking communities — whether in Montreal, the Outaouais, Eastern Townships, Gaspé or other regions — in such vital areas as employment, economic development, arts and culture, as well as youth and seniors.